"The Patronus is a kind of positive force, a projection of the very things that the dementors feed upon--hope, happiness, the desire to survive...."
"How do you conjure it?" said Harry curiously.
"With an incantation that will only work if you are concentrating on a single, very happy memory."
--J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (New York: Scholastic, 1999) p. 237.
I've been reading Azkaban to my daughter and came across this passage last night. It got me thinking about the power of memory in our lives and the lives of our characters.
Like Harry, I think I'd have to cast about for a while before I landed on a memory that was powerful enough to protect me from hope-sucking malevolence. Those kinds of memories are the ones tied to our identities, I think. Usually they're of some happy event that turned our life course in some way, like Harry learning he was a wizard.
How about your characters? What memories protect them when hopelessness threatens? How might you use a happy memory to bring hope to a character in a tight corner?
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